What’s So Interesting About AMO Physics?

That’s the title of my talk this morning at DAMOP, where I attempt the slightly insane feat of summarizing a meeting with over 1000 presentations in a single 30-minute talk. This will necessarily involve talking a little bit like the person reading the legal notices at the end of a car commercial, and a few […]

Commanding the Power of Thor…ium: “Wigner Crystals of 229Th for Optical Excitation of the Nuclear Isomer”

I have to admit, I’m writing this one up partly because it lets me use the title reference. It’s a cool little paper, though, demonstrating the lengths that physicists will go to in pursuit of precision measurements. I’m just going to pretend I didn’t see that dorky post title, and ask what this is about. […]

Treating Photons Like Atoms: “Bose-Einstein condensation of photons in an optical microcavity”

This paper made a big splash back in November, with lots of news stories talking about it; it even made the #6 spot on Physics World‘s list of breakthroughs of the year. I didn’t write it up then because I was hellishly busy, and couldn’t take time away from working on the book-in-progress to figure […]

What’s So Interesting About AMO Physics?

I’ve got three months to decide. I’ll be giving an invited talk at the Division of Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics (DAMOP) with this title, with a goal of introducing the field to students and physicists from other fields: In recent years, DAMOP has expanded to the point where the meeting can be quite daunting […]

Poll: Top Physics Story of 2010?

It’s the last week of the (calendar) year, which means it’s a good time to recap the previous twelve months worth of scientific news. Typically, publications like Physics World will publish a list of top ten physics stories of 2010, but we’re all Web 2.0 these days, so it seems more appropriate to put this […]

Dance of the Photons by Anton Zeilinger

I hadn’t heard anything about Dance of the Photons: From Einstein to Quantum Teleportation before it turned up in my mailbox, courtesy of some kind publicist at Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, otherwise I would’ve been eagerly anticipating it. Anton Zeilinger is a name to conjure with in quantum optics, having built an impressive career out […]

Interference of Independent Photon Beams: The Pfleegor-Mandel Experiment

Earlier this week, I talked about the technical requirements for taking a picture of an interference pattern from two independent lasers, and mentioned in passing that a 1967 experiment by Pfleegor and Mandel had already shown the interference effect. Their experiment was clever enough to deserve the ResearchBlogging Q&A treatment, though, so here we go: […]